The Walk Through
Have you ever inspected an apartment on move-out day and see carpets with burn holes and stains, or a torn linoleum only to be told "It was like that when I moved in." To prevent this situation, use the following approach:
Take your time to do a thorough inspection. Walk through the apartment with the tenant present at move-in and again at move-out. This will protect both you and the tenant. In fact, many tenants ask if their walk through will be done when they move in.
Cover each room separately and include the condition of all appliances and their cleanliness. (Also note that if any parts of the appliances such as oven racks, broiler
pans, refrigerator shelves and drawers are missing or broken at move-in.)
Include the condition of ceilings, walls, woodwork, window glass and screens, floors including linoleum and carpets.
Note if the apartment has been freshly painted.
Note the condition and operation of the toilet, bathtub, medicine cabinet, etc.
Note the condition of the plumbing such as adequate drainage of sinks, leaky faucets.
If parking is included with an assigned space, note the condition of the pavement in that space and inform the tenant that they are liable for damage caused by leaking fluids from the vehicles.
Inform the tenant in writing that they have five days after occupancy to notify you of any conditions missed during the walk through.
One landlord book I purchased several years ago had a great suggestion that I now use.
When the tenant gives you their move-out notice, present them with a short letter informing the tenant of your expectations regarding the cleanliness of the apartment.
Compose a list of sample repairs and their associated costs. For example, a missing refrigerator shelf
$35, a broken window $20, a torn insect screen $20 etc. Also include an amount to dispose
of any remaining furniture (for example $50 per truckload).
NOTE: Make sure that the tenant authorizes any disposal in writing, lest they become valuable antiques that you disposed of instead of storing for 45 days.